how do you repair an aeron? you don’t – it’s covered
edit 11-5-2012: Industrial designers Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick describe the original Aeron prototyping at Slate.com.
edit 3-6-2014: download Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair Adjustment Guide PDF.
In 1999 I graduated from a comfortably traditional no instructions needed sturdy and reliable Steelcase to a revolutionary and slightly intimidating Aeron after a test-sitting at the local Herman Miller showroom. This was prompted by the realization that my career as a print creative director would never again come in contact with a drawing board and that digitally correct office accessorizing could ease the transition.
Warranty coverage wasn’t given much thought at the time. Actually, it wasn’t given any thought, even as the notion of extended sitting in my new noir appliance approached certainty. As daily taken-for-granted use stretched well into the aughts, I started wondering if there was a Herman Miller policy for repairing past prime hardware.
Google quickly turned up warranty details – all out in the open, displayed matter of factly in large print and language anyone can understand – and the protocol necessary to initiate the process. Turns out, their warranty covers parts and labor for twelve years from date of purchase. Used to be ten. Applies retroactively.
how can we help you? no, seriously, how can we help?
First, when you purchase an Aeron, there’s not one whisper about shelling out for an additional “extended care” warranty. And even though Office Pavilion, the original dealer, no longer served my region their replacement, Workplace Resource of Florida, didn’t miss a beat. My simple email request for info was immediately answered with the necessary (minimal) paperwork attached: a warranty request form that asked for only basic information, mainly the proof of purchase serial number and birth date shown in the top photo. I filled it out. I waited for a response. Two days later I was in business. No beat down, no obfuscating. Their response in totality: yep, you’ve got a problem. Yep, we’ll fix it.
One month later, I answered a phone call from the tech to confirm the repairs. The repairs on site, I hasten to add. Granted, the chair’s not cheap, but I’d assumed that for a piece of nearly 12-years-old well used merchandise, whatever coverage I had coming would be carried out after drop-off to the nearest point-of-sale for the six to eight weeks necessary to complete repairs.
no user parts accessible? none
Bob the Tech showed up as promised, on schedule, wheeling in his portable work bench, toolbox and a couple of cartons of repair parts. An hour later I had what essentially was a completely rebuilt chair. And not just the visible wear and tear that’s bound to occur over a decade of daily use, either. My Aeron rehab visited every nook and cranny of my high tech and well used furniture. They didn’t have to. They just did.
Red tape? None. Superior service? Yes. Brand reputation? Polished to a blinding brilliance. Thanks, Herman Miller. For designing, marketing, and standing behind a best in class product. If you visit the web site, and I hope you do, please take the opportunity to enjoy a smile at the reference to design integrity in the making of video on the Aeron home page.